How tough will it be for ND to make the New Year's Six?
by ShermanOaksND (2014-12-31 16:31:12)
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Based on the final Dec. 7, 2014 rankings, ND would have had to finish no lower than 10th to secure a New Year’s Six (NY6) bowl bid, whether that be Peach, Fiesta, Orange or Cotton. In theory, a top 12 ranking would’ve sufficed for ND had the ACC runner-up (Georgia Tech) and the highest Group of 5 team (Boise State) both finished in the top 11, or if the ACC champion (FSU) had missed the playoff and gone to the Orange.

In 2015, it will be even tougher. ND would need a top 7 finish to ensure a NY6 bid, because the Rose and Sugar Bowls will be unavailable (contracted to Big Ten-Pac-12 and SEC-Big XII, respectively). A top 12 ranking could suffice in theory (e.g., if each of the Rose and Sugar teams and the top Group of 6 team all were in the top 11), and a top 10 finish would vastly increase the odds, but there would be no guarantee.

And 2016 will be tougher still. To ensure a NY6 bid, ND would need either a top 5 finish or would need to otherwise get the Orange Bowl bid ahead of a SEC or Big Ten team. Again, a top 12 ranking could suffice in theory, and a top 10 finish would make a NY6 bid likely, but there would be no guarantee.

2014 Final Rankings (NY6 bowl teams in bold, playoff in bold/italic)
1 Alabama 12-1 PLAYOFF (SUGAR)
2 Oregon 12-1 PLAYOFF (ROSE)
3 Florida State 13-0 PLAYOFF (ROSE)
4 Ohio State 12-1 PLAYOFF (SUGAR)

5 Baylor 11-1 NY6 (COTTON)
6 TCU 11-1 NY 6 (PEACH)
7 Mississippi State 10-2 NY6 (ORANGE)
8 Michigan State 10-2 NY6 (COTTON)
9 Mississippi 9-3 NY6 (PEACH)
10 Arizona 10-3 NY6 (FIESTA)

11 Kansas State 9-3 Alamo
12 Georgia Tech 10-3 NY6 (ORANGE)
13 Georgia 9-3 Belk
14 UCLA 9-3 Alamo
15 Arizona State 9-3 Sun
16 Missouri 10-3 Florida Citrus
17 Clemson 9-3 Russell Athletic
18 Wisconsin 10-3 Outback
19 Auburn 8-4 Outback
20 Boise State 11-2 NY6 (FIESTA)
21 Louisville 9-3 Belk
22 Utah 8-4 Las Vegas
23 LSU 8-4 Music City
24 Southern California 8-4 Holiday
25 Minnesota 8-4 Florida Citrus

2015 Seedings
1-4 PLAYOFF (Orange, Cotton)
5-7 Guaranteed NY6
SEC Team – NY6 (Sugar)
Big XII Team – NY6 (Sugar)
Big Ten Team – NY6 (Rose)
Pac-12 Team – NY6 (Rose)
Best Group of 5 Team – PLAYOFF or NY6

2016 Seedings
1-4 PLAYOFF (Fiesta, Peach)
5 Guaranteed NY6
SEC Team – NY6 (Sugar)
Big XII Team – NY6 (Sugar)
Big Ten Team – NY6 (Rose)
Pac-12 Team – NY6 (Rose)
ACC Team – NY6 (Orange)
SEC, Big Ten or ND – NY6 (Orange)
Best Group of 5 Team – PLAYOFF or NY6


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